Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Oh, Are You Having My Tart?*

More Thanksgiving Folks. As mentioned previously, we did tastings throughout the day leading up to the main feast. One of the tastings was an Onion and Sage Tart. This tasting appeared to be a hit. I made two versions. One as described below and another version that would be friendly to our veggie and non-pork eating friends. I tried both. Of course we know I love bacon, but wow they were different. The bacon version seemed very balanced and truly a savory dish. The non-bacon version had an overt sweetness that seemed odd for what the dish was? Make sense? I don't really know how to describe it, but there was just too much sweet, at least for me.

*"Oh, Are You Having My Tart?" That's a quote from a party many many years ago...I love it! Of course the delivery is best with a salacious spin. "Oh.... Are YOU having MY tart?" *wink*

Onion And Sage Tart

Flaky Pastry Tart Crust
1 1/4 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into small pieces
3 TB ice water

Pulse flour and salt in a food processor (or stir in a bowl). Add butter. Process about 10 seconds, until mixture looks like coarse corn meal. (Or combine in a bowl use a pastry blender or two knives to achieve the same effect.) With motor running, slowly add the water until the dough pulls away from the processor bowl. (Dough should not be sticky. Form into a disc. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight.) When you are ready to make your tart, roll the dough into a large flat disk. Spread your filling in the center. Leaving a border of about 1 1/2 inches, cut the excess dough away. Working in about eights or tenths, fold the border up to the filling. Go to the next area and overlap the border...continue until the border has been wrapped up to the filling all around. (see photos for the future I'll try to get photos showing step by step.)

To make the Tart Filling:

2 pounds yellow onions (3 large or 4 medium), sliced
bacon (4-6 slices), finely diced
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 to 3 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 TB finely chopped fresh sage
Freshly ground black pepper
2-3 TB heavy cream
1 large egg
Parmigiana Reggiano

1. Caramelizing the onions. Peel the onions and cut them in half from root to tip. Cut out the dense core at the root end and slice the onions 1/4 inch thick, again from root end to tip. Cook the bacon, stirring often, in a large (4-quart) saucepan over medium heat until almost crisp. Add the onions, sugar, and salt, and cook, stirring often until they cook down by two-thirds, about 10 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons vinegar, reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue to cook until the onions are an even golden brown and softened to a marmalade consistency, 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the onions. Stir often and scrape up any brown bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. The onions need almost constant stirring near the end to prevent them from sticking and burning. They'll let you know they need attention by giving off a sizzling sound. Stir in the sage, allow them to cool slightly, then taste and season with black pepper and additional salt if needed. If the onions seem overly sweet, stir in another teaspoon of vinegar. (The onions can be caramelized up to 2 days ahead and store covered in the refrigerator.)

2. Filling and baking. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Stir the cream and egg into the caramelized onions until thoroughly combined. Pour the filling into the middle of the dough, fold the dough's sides up, slightly overlapping. Brush sides with beaten egg. Grate a bit of parm over the filling. Bake. 30-45 minutes, until the middle is set and the tart crust is golden brown and delicious.

Let cool slightly, then transfer the tarts to a cutting board using a large spatula. Cut each into 8 wedges with the downward pressure of a sharp knife. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Herb Substitutions
In place of sage, use an equal amount of finely chopped rosemary, marjoram, savory or thyme.

The bacon version of the filling!

My Two Tarts! That's a new show on the Food Network, best hosted by a sassy drag queen!
*photo by Sterfanie.

The finished tart! Tasty Tasty, Light and flaky.


DC Food Blog said...

I know this might be a dagger to our foodie hearts but bac-os are vegetarian and give a decent smoky bacony flavor.

ScottE. said...

ahhhh...bac-os...haven't had those in ages...I'm sure there are plenty of veggie friendly options...I also could have done turkey bacon for the non-pork people, but I didn't think far enough in advance.

Stef said...

I only tried the meaty one, had two pieces! Deelish. Little bro wanted the recipe, so I'll pass this along.